In a bid to tide over the paucity of funds, the Maharashtra government, which recently announced a Rs 34,022 crore farm loan waiver, has decided to draw money from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to finance the debt write-off. The state administration issued a government resolution (GR) to this effect today. Till now, there were 10 different objectives listed by the government for the use of money from the CM relief fund. But in the GR, it added the 11th objective– financing farmers’ loan waiver scheme — to make use of the fund. The CM relief fund aims at providing immediate relief to the people in distress in the state as well as in the country. It provides monetary help to those affected by major natural calamities like flood, drought, fire accident, etc. It also provides financial assistance to economically weaker citizens for treatment of some major diseases.
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Last year, the chief minister’s office had extended Rs 114 crore for the treatment of cancer patients. “So far, the CM relief fund was used for several relief works such as drought, scarcity of water and fodder and medical support. After the GR, now it can be officially used for loan waiver assistance,” a state official said. The Devendra Fadnavis government had last month announced the “historic” loan waiver of Rs 34,022 crore for farmers and subsequently laid down the eligibility criteria for availing it.
Yesterday, the government expanded the ambit of the loan waiver scheme to include even those farmers who had taken loans after 2008. Earlier, the loan waiver scheme, titled the ‘Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Sanman Yojana’, covered only those farmers who have the loan outstanding between April 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016. Farmers in the state had been on a war path from June 1 to press for their various demands. However, they had on June 11 called off the stir after Fadnavis announced the loan waiver.